Should I be complaining to the garage? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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mapalfa's Avatar
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2008 Brera 2.4

Question Should I be complaining to the garage?

I recently replaced all the pads, discs and hoses on my Brera.

All went fine, except for the N/S/F where I couldn't shift the connection between the flexi hose and the fixed brake line from the ABS block. In the end I had to completely replace the line as well as fitting the braided hose and, unfortunately, some air got into the block. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the right sort of pedal feel back. Multiple attempts at bleeding, and bleeding following hard braking on grass to activate the ABS, nothing worked.

Based on various threads I first contacted my local go-to mechanic and asked if he had (or had access to) MES, but unfortunately he didn't. So I contacted a garage (who I won't name at least for the time being) who have been recommended on the forum. I spoke to the owner and explained the problem and was very specific that I wanted the ABS system bled, not just the basic brakes.

When I got to the garage I again spoke to the owner and said I'd like the brakes bled, followed by an ABS system flush using MES, then the brakes bled again. That's the routine I've read is needed in this situation. I was told they were running behind and it would be a few hours till the job was done.

3 hours later I was walking back to the garage and met the guy who actually did the work and he said he'd connected something to the OBD port (I don't know if it was MES or a bog-standard code reader) and because there were no fault codes showing he simply bled the brakes again. He also said that the feel would improve as the pads bedded in. For this I got charged £125 including labour and fluid.

I can live with the cost, though my local guy charges half the labour rate, but what I don't like is that there's very little difference. 2 weeks later and I'm not noticing any difference from the pads getting used either. The brakes work OK, but there's way too much sponginess.

The thing that really bugs me is that it was a 2 hour journey each way, plus the time hanging around, so I'm looking at fuel costs on top of the bill and a day off of work.

My gut is telling me to contact them and say I want to take it back to them and have the full MES routine done free of charge labour-wise (I'm happy to pay for any extra fluid used). Am I being reasonable?
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personally id take it as a lesson learned. invest in MES and bleed it up yourself... will cost you less than the fuel and parts and wouldn't take 2 hours to do... I'm firmly in the camp of once bitten twice shy, there's many places i will not use for anything anymore because of their lackadaisical attitude and actions with the simplest of tasks.

There's 2 garages i trust at the moment with the 159 and 1 with the Coupe, if they're booked up or don't seem keen on the idea, ill work on them myself.

i am very opinionated about this kinda behaviour. and it boils my urine every time i read a story like this


'07 159 Lusso Saloon, 2.4 JTDm, Oltremare Blue.
'99 Fiat Coupe, 2.0 20v VIS, Portofino Blue, Full Leather, Mani-Back Longlife Custom S/S Exhaust.
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Pitty you're the other side of Wales, if you was around Newport i could have done this for you

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